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For those that need some inspiration and motivation

What's your story? Discussions your reasons for going abroad.

Moderators: jamesbond, fschmidt

For those that need some inspiration and motivation

Postby adann » Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:20 am

To those that are feeling depressed and need some sort of inspiration or motivation, here is my story. Its quite long. I understand how you are feeling because I was just like you.

Back in 2004, i didnt have a gf (was single for 7 years, had a gf in highschool that lasted a few months), was unemployed for 2 years and I didnt have a university degree. I was living with my parents and I did nothing but play video games all day. I didnt know where I was headed in the future but I knew I was lonely and wasnt very happy. Also I was very shy and couldnt really talk to girls.

One day I remember stumbling upon a website or advertisement about teaching and living overseas. I didnt have my passport then and I had never been overseas before. I thought maybe I needed a change in environment. I did some research on what I needed in order to teach abroad and found out that I needed at least a bachelor's degree.

However to get a degree, I needed money too. So I began researching and writing up a plan... get a job (didnt want to get student loans because I had did that before), save up money, apply to a university and earn my degree. With a goal set I had something to strive for.

So a few months later I found a job working at a warehouse. I worked the graveyard shift from 11pm to 7am. I didnt earn much but I was able to save over $1000 a month while living at home. I worked there for a year and then applied and got accepted into the closest university. I started classes in January of 2005. This allowed me to continue living at home (and save money) and work at the warehouse during the weekends.

I enrolled in a general BA program that would take 3 years to complete (Im from Canada). However I wanted to graduate as quickly as possible so I took on extra classes during the summer semester. I was able to finish all my courses in exactly 24 months (Jan 2007) but I had to wait until June of 2007 to receive my BA. When I had finished all my courses in January of 2007, I enrolled in a TESOL certificate program (200 hrs) because I wanted/needed something to make up for my lack of teaching experience.

Of course during this time, I was also thinking about where I wanted to teach English. I remember back then reading newspapers about how China's economy was rising. I thought to myself, maybe if I go to China, I could teach English and learn Chinese and it would benefit me in the future. So it was decided then and I would soon achieve my goal at a happier life abroad.

Around May/June of 2007 I began looking for teaching jobs in China. I researched the job market and found out I could work at a language school and earn more money or work at a college and earn less money but have more free time. I decided on the latter and eventually found a college in Hangzhou. I found the contact info for the college and emailed them directly. I got a reply a few days later for a phone interview and I passed.

I was ecstatic. It would be my first job abroad. I would be provided housing and I would be teaching 16 hours a week. The position didnt pay much, about $500 a month but the costs of living were lower in China.

At the end of August 2007 I left Canada for China to begin my new life abroad. During my first year in China I was able to make some good chinese friends there and even a chinese gf. (I also need to point out that Im not as tall or attractive as the average guy, be it western or chinese.)

In this new environment I was able to get phone numbers, talk to girls and laugh. It was a great feeling. Back in the west, girls were intimidating and had 'bitch shields' so I never had the courage to talk them

Anyway I worked at that college for a year and eventually found a better paying position in Shanghai the following year. It paid twice as much at $1000 a month and covered housing as well as utilities. I dated the same chinese girl for over 2 years but we eventually broke up because our future was incompatible (I didnt want kids). I eventually found another chinese gf so all was well. She didnt speak english at all but my chinese was good enough that we didnt have any communication problems.

Also during this time I had enrolled into a 2 year distance/online MA program at a university in Canada. Remember the financial crisis back in 2009? This was the reason why I wanted to upgrade myself so I wouldnt be left behind in the job market. During my stay in China I was able to save up money, learn enough chinese (I can watch tv shows/movies and talk fluently) and finish 4/5 of my masters degree.

I eventually left China and went to Korea because I wanted to study Korean. I taught at an English village for a year and half. I earned more money but I also worked twice as much. I eventually finished my masters degree and I now teach english at a Korean university. I earn the same amount of money now but I work half as many hours. I also met my Korean gf here and she is great.
Im happy now and I dont think this would have happened if I had continued staying in the west.

To review again, I had a plan and stuck to it for almost 4 years until I was able to work abroad. It wasn’t something that happened overnight or in a few months. Do some research, make a plan and stick to it, you will thank yourself later. Also learn the local language, it will open doors for your career and women.

On a side note teaching english may not suit all guys but for those like me who dont/cant succeed in having an online business, teaching allows us to earn money and live abroad. Oh and thanks for reading
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Postby jamesbond » Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:30 am

Congratulations adann, your story is very inspirational. Like the old saying, "where there is a will, there is a way." :D
"When I think about the idea of getting involved with an American woman, I don't know if I should laugh .............. or vomit!"

"Trying to meet women in America is like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics."
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Postby xiongmao » Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:14 am

Wow, great story!

I hope younger guys can learn from this (Magnum would have loved to read this).

Yes teaching English is still a good way to finance your overseas living. I've done well with my online businesses, but it's ferociously difficult to launch anything these days. Even Winston's empire will fall if he doesn't keep working at it.

If you're patient the best thing to do is to get a career, get a job and bank every last cent. Don't take taxis, walk. Don't go to the movies, don't go to restaurants. At work drink the free water cooler water. After 3-4 years in a good(ish) job, those saved dollars suddenly turn into tens of thousands of dollars.

Anyway, keep us posted on your travels!
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Postby zboy1 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:07 pm

Great story, Adann!

A major tip for any newbies interested in teaching in China: NEVER, EVER use a third-party recruiter to find jobs in China: contact schools directly or find jobs that will pay you directly without using any agencies. That way, you won't get screwed over with your pay---such as them taking half your pay as "fees"--like most crooked agencies in Asia like to do.
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Postby IronChemist » Sat Mar 15, 2014 3:14 pm

Would signing up for a search engine like TIE online be considered an agency?

Also, we have those employment agencies in america, called "temp agencies" and they do eat up half your pay as well.
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Postby MatureDJ » Thu May 29, 2014 12:51 pm

I teach English in Eastern Europe as an independent, which helps pay my travel bills. (I still kick in a little on the side from my fairly nice sized retirement account.) For the man who doesn't have a nest egg to draw on like I do, a full time English teaching job at a school would do the trick.
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Postby MatureDJ » Thu May 29, 2014 12:54 pm

xiongmao wrote:Wow, great story!

I hope younger guys can learn from this (Magnum would have loved to read this).

Yes teaching English is still a good way to finance your overseas living. I've done well with my online businesses, but it's ferociously difficult to launch anything these days. Even Winston's empire will fall if he doesn't keep working at it.

If you're patient the best thing to do is to get a career, get a job and bank every last cent. Don't take taxis, walk. Don't go to the movies, don't go to restaurants. At work drink the free water cooler water. After 3-4 years in a good(ish) job, those saved dollars suddenly turn into tens of thousands of dollars.

Anyway, keep us posted on your travels!

There is a website called Mr. Money Moustache, which is geared toward the very early retiree lifestyle. Yes, it is definitely possibly to build up a nice nest egg in a relatively short time frame (i.e., 10 years) with a decent paying job and a very cheap lifestyle.
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Postby In2dadark » Thu May 29, 2014 1:51 pm

Great story. Don't listen to old curmudgeons like me.
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Postby Tezcatlipoca » Fri May 30, 2014 4:41 pm

Thanks, this is very encouraging. Right now, I am doing sales to become more outgoing like my old self and going through school for engineering. I just needed to know hard work would get some kind of reward/light at the end of the tunnel.. to be a eunuch for 4 years to finance some old bitch who has f***ed every guy on the planet makes me want to vomit.
Stop being angry at the stuff you don't have (yet) in life and instead focus on how to get it.
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Postby abcdavid01 » Fri May 30, 2014 6:45 pm

Wow, seven years later and that sounds exactly what I'm trying. I leave for Shanghai in three weeks until August. It's to learn Mandarin for my major and when I return I have a final year of college. Then I'm thinking about getting a TESL degree and heading back, improving my mandarin even more.

Congratulations pal.
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Postby Jester » Sat May 31, 2014 1:29 am

This thread should be bumped, and bumped, and bumped again.

I hope my son reads this!
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Postby Jester » Sat May 31, 2014 1:31 am

abcdavid01 wrote:Wow, seven years later and that sounds exactly what I'm trying. I leave for Shanghai in three weeks until August. It's to learn Mandarin for my major and when I return I have a final year of college. Then I'm thinking about getting a TESL degree and heading back, improving my mandarin even more.

Congratulations pal.


Congrats to you, for being ON TRACK, ABCDavid!
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Postby abcdavid01 » Sat May 31, 2014 2:18 am

Jester wrote:
abcdavid01 wrote:Wow, seven years later and that sounds exactly what I'm trying. I leave for Shanghai in three weeks until August. It's to learn Mandarin for my major and when I return I have a final year of college. Then I'm thinking about getting a TESL degree and heading back, improving my mandarin even more.

Congratulations pal.


Congrats to you, for being ON TRACK, ABCDavid!


Thanks pal. :)
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Postby Cornfed » Sat May 31, 2014 3:20 am

This is all well and good, but TEFL is hardly a stable environment with a promising future. The pay and conditions are getting worse all the time pretty much everywhere. Wouldn't it make more sense to get into something that might turn into a longer term career?
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Postby starchild5 » Sat May 31, 2014 3:34 am

Great....Inspiration Thanks
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